In a country where 1 in 34 women die while giving birth and 88 in 1,000 children die before their 5th birthday, this project aims to improve maternal and newborn survival by engaging expectant fathers in the continuum of care from antenatal care to the newborns' first 100 days. Due to cultural barriers, minus 1% of men accompany their spouses to antenatal clinic. This project will start-up a paternity clinic at a men-friendly location to improve fathers' capacity to aid their pregnant spouses.
Cameroon's maternal and infant mortality is among the worst 5 in the world: 590 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, and 88 under-five deaths per 1000 live births. Only 62% of the women get the WHO recommended ANC (4 visits), and postnatal care attendance is limited to 37%. To worsen the situation, less than 21% of the babies born in Cameroon are privileged to get exclusive breastfeeding. Men can play a significant role to improve maternal and newborn health but the culture downplays that.
CASD will design an ANC education program for expecting fathers. Every week, CASD staff will work with pregnant women who think their spouses are not supportive enough, to enroll them for the ANC clinic to be situated at a men's hangout corner in Bamenda. At the clinic the men will be served a series of lessons that will help them understand and play their roles in reducing the risk involved in their spouses' pregnancies, and the survival of their newborns.
Men will be more supportive to their spouses during pregnancy and newborn care, thereby improving maternal and newborn health, and obviously reducing maternal and child mortality.